Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Some Fulani herdsmen weekend invaded two local government councils respectively in Kogi State, where they reportedly killed 10 persons and then set their farmlands on fire.
The incident took place on Friday in Omala and Yagba West local government councils respectively.
According to an eye-witness account yesterday, some Fulani herdsmen invaded Ogabifo village near Agbenema community in Omola local government council of the state on Friday with their cattle.
According to the source, the Fulani herdsmen invaded the farmland and fed their cattle with the produce of the farm, and when the owner of the farm with his family approached them, they attacked the farmer and his family and chased them to the village where about 10 people were reportedly killed.
THISDAY further gathered that after invading the village, the Fulani herdsmen went back to the farm and destroyed the crops there and then ran away.
A source (name withheld) said the Fulani herdsmen numbering five were fully armed with AK 47 rifles and other dangerous weapons. The source also confirmed to THISDAY that the villagers have run away from the various houses as the Fulani herdsmen promised to invade the village again.
In another similar incident, Fulani herdsmen have also invaded another farm land in Yagba West local government council of the state.
An eye-witness disclosed to THISDAY saturday that the Fulani herdsmen with over 30 cattle invaded a rice farm owned by a woman in Omi, destroyed the rice farm and chased the farmers from their farm land.
A farmer, who doesnâ€™t want his identity to be known, disclosed to THISDAY that the Fulani herdsmen were fully armed when they arrived at the farmland.
He added that other farmers were in their farms working when they heard several gunshots when the Fulani herdsmen invaded the farms. He stated that it was by Godâ€™s grace that they escaped from their farms. He therefore appealed to the state government to take a proactive step by calling the Fulani herdsmen to order.
The Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello last week had said that he would not introduce any anti-grazing law to curtail the activities of Fulani herdsmen in the state.
According to the governor, during a tripartite stakeholdersâ€™ meeting between the state government, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearersâ€™ Association and the Farmers Association in Kogi State, Bello said rather, he threw the gate of the state open to any Fulani herdsmen who have been finding it difficult to stay in states like Benue, Ekiti and Nasarawa to see Kogi as their next destination, as the state was ready not only to accommodate them but also provide security for their lives and property.
Governor Bello said the people of the state must go and learn how to coexist peacefully with the cattle rearers.
The governor also read riot acts to the traditional rulers, in the state vowing to adopt all available means to punish them if they fail to instill discipline and prevent further breakdown of law and order in their domain.
â€œMy administration will deal with any traditional rulers; anywhere there is crisis, the traditional ruler will be removed or dethroned from office,â€ he warned.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. William Ayah, while confirming the report, disclosed that it was true that some unknown gunmen killed two persons in Omala local government area of the state.